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Harp Seals and the Canadian Harp Seal ‘Hunt ’: Ecological and Humane Implications. Harpseals.org All volunteer, non profit organization with one goal: To permanently end the annual Canadian harp seal slaughter. What is a Harp Seal?. Sub order: Pinnipedia 3 Families of Pinnipeds:.

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harp seals and the canadian harp seal hunt ecological and humane implications

Harp Seals and the Canadian Harp Seal ‘Hunt’: Ecological and Humane Implications

Harpseals.org

All volunteer, non profit organization with one goal:

To permanently end the annual Canadian harp seal slaughter

what is a harp seal
What is a Harp Seal?

Sub order: Pinnipedia

3 Families of Pinnipeds:

Eared Seals

(Otariidae)

True Seals

(Phocidae)

Walruses

(Odobenidae)

harp seal life cycle
Harp Seal Life Cycle

Whitecoat

Raggedy Jacket

Beater

Adult

harp seal diet
HARP SEAL DIET
  • DO SEALS EAT NORTH ATLANTIC COD?
  • STAPLES FOR THE SEALS: capelin, Arctic cod, polar cod and herring
  • SEALS ALSO EAT: halibut, shrimp, small crabs, squid
3 harp seal populations
3 Harp Seal Populations

White Sea

West Ice

Newfoundland

& Labrador

canada s killing fields
Canada’s Killing Fields

The “Front”

The “Gulf”

canada s harp seal slaughter
Canada’s Harp Seal Slaughter
  • Largest Slaughter of Marine Mammals in the World
  • Current quotas as high as kill rates prior to 1971 when

population nearly collapsed and quotas were

first established

  • Over 1.3 million baby seals killed (2003-2006)
  • Over 325,000 killed in March-April 2006
  • March-April 2007 kill quota (TAC): 270,000.
  • 2007 actual kill: ~ 215,000 seal pups
newfoundland and labrador timeline
Newfoundland and Labrador Timeline

1497- John Cabot discovers abundant fishing grounds

1800’s- English and Irish immigrants arrive

1949- Newfoundland & Labrador join Canada

1950’s- Fishing fleets modernized--draggers and trawlers

1977-80’s EEZ established. Huge Canadian & Foreign fleets

1983- Europe bans “whitecoat” products

1992- Atlantic cod fishery collapses

1995-2000 Seal hunt revived. Subsides. Killing increased

Oil, fish products, newsprint, iron ore, electricity

cruel killing methods
Cruel Killing Methods
  • 95% of the slaughtered seals are babies 3-12 weeks old.
  • Defenseless pups--can’t swim and little chance for escape.
  • Clubbed with a hakapik and left to suffer in agony until skinned

or shot and dragged to skinning area with hooks.

  • Independent veterinary team reported up to 42% were skinned

while still conscious.

  • Cruel and senseless slaughter for their fur.
spring 2007 another year of unusual weather
Spring 2007: Another Year of Unusual Weather

March 2007 – Gulf: Poor Ice, few surviving seals

April 2007 – Front: Ice closes in on sealing boats

canadian government position
Canadian Government Position
  • Sustainable – 5.8 million seals. “Almost triple what it was in the 1970’s.” “Managed on socio-economic considerations until 70% population level is reached.” “Managed with a precautionary approach.”
  • Viable – “economically viable and not subsidized by the Fisheries and Oceans”
  • Humane–Royal Commission on Seals & Sealing said that the killing is comparable to hunting any other wildlife. An independent group of veterinarians reported that ~98% are killed in an “acceptably humane manner”
why does the killing continue
Why Does the Killing Continue?

Officially NOT to help the cod population recover or reduce a seal population that is ‘too large’

  • But fishing industry promotes seal ‘hunt’

Officially a MARKET-based ‘hunt’

  • Extra income for fishermen (about 5%)

Newfoundland Politics – DFO minister comes from NL

Tradition – Sealers’ ‘Pride’

canadian seafood boycott

Strategy to Stop the Slaughter

Canadian Seafood Boycott
  • Objective: Force the Canadian fishing industry to stop the killing by making them pay a severe financial penalty
  • The Canadian seafood industry generates $5 billion dollars annually for the Canadian economy
  • 65-70% of their seafood is exported to the United States
  • Seal pelts generate $16-20 million dollars annually
  • Over 2,500 businesses and 440,000 individuals have pledged to avoid some or all Canadian seafood. This includes Legal Sea Foods, Whole Foods Markets, Wild Oats Markets and many others
europe takes action
Europe Takes Action
  • European Parliament Declaration--Sept 2006
  • UK Pressuring European Commission for EU ban
  • Countries that have banned seal imports or are in the process of passing laws: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Turkey
main opposition groups
Main Opposition Groups
  • HARPSEALS.ORG (only group focused on this)
  • Animal Alliance of Canada
  • Atlantic Canadian Anti-Sealing Coalition
  • Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
  • Respect For Animals
  • Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS)
how you can help
How YOU Can Help
  • Support the Canadian Seafood Boycott
  • Start or join a group of activists and organize public awareness events. Spread the word
  • Join Harpseals.org and Sea Shepherd (501(c)(3) non-profits)
  • Organize fundraisers
  • Donate (for billboards, radio spots, TV spots, etc)
  • Write letters to the Canadian Government and Darden Corp. (Red Lobster Restaurants)
take action join us
Take Action - Join Us!

harpseals.orgseashepherd.org

Thank You